A key pillar of the FCA’s current three-year strategy is to reduce and prevent financial crime. In an update at the midpoint of executing this strategy the FCA summarises the work done so far and puts forward four areas of focus for the next 18 months.
Areas of focus and actions for boards
The FCA poses the following questions for regulated firms and their boards to consider:
1. Data and technology
- Does my firm know how criminals are likely to be using new technology to target our customers and business? Does my firm have a way of keeping updated on new techniques or typologies?
- How is my firm keeping updated with good practice? Is my firm targeting investment in technology and data to address our firm’s and customers’ key financial crime risks?
- How is my firm measuring the outcomes we are achieving here?
- If my firm is using third party technology to detect, is the technology calibrated to the risks my firm faces and its customer base?
2. Consumer awareness
- Is my firm raising awareness among our customers of the fraud risks relevant to the business we do with them?
- Are we using/being consistent with the language/approaches proposed by public bodies or our association?
- Are we getting feedback? How do we know if it is working?
3. Measuring effectiveness
- What metrics is the board getting on the firm’s outcomes on tackling financial crime?
- How are these metrics tied to activities or work programme metrics, and budgets?
- How does the firm compare with its peers?
The FCA also encourages firms to participate in data sharing initiatives to keep one step ahead of the criminals.
The FCA calls on financial services firms to “lead the charge” on fraud prevention. It notes that the Payment Systems Regulator is introducing a reimbursement requirement for authorised push payment fraud in Faster Payments. The FCA also supports the government’s proposals to reform anti-money laundering supervision.
The update also looks beyond financial services. It cites the example of the Online Fraud Charter which the FCA hopes will encourage social media platforms to clamp down on scams. Big Tech and telecommunications firms also have a role to play in reducing financial crime.